John 12: 1~50 约翰福音 第十二章 第一至五十节

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

OPPOSITION TO JESUS (Part 8)

John 12:1-50



I.    Devotion or Death? (12:1-11)


    A.    The Devotion of Mary (vv. 1-3)

  1. The perfume Mary used to anoint Jesus’ feet was very expensive, a luxury item for herself, selflessly given in devotion to Jesus.
  2. She poured the perfume on the feet of Jesus in an act of humility; attending to the feet of another person was the work of a servant.  Wiping the oil with her hair was also unusual, for respectable women did not unbraid their hair in public.
  3. Mary exhibited unrestrained love and devotion to Jesus that went beyond personal cost and concern for the opinion of others.

    B.    Judas’ Deceit (vv. 4-6)

  1. This is the sole passage in the Gospels that reveals the wicked character of Judas before his betrayal of Jesus.
  2. While John related Judas’ dishonesty in hindsight, at the time Judas must have been highly esteemed by the Twelve because he was trusted with caring for the money bag.

    C.    Jesus’ Judgment of Mary and the Poor (vv. 7-11)

  1. Jesus affirmed Mary’s act of devotion and linked it to His own burial.  Mary did not intend for this to be the significance of her act, but Jesus interpreted it this way.
  2. Jesus defended what Mary had done against the charge of the disciples that she should have sold the perfume and given the money to the poor. Jesus said, “For you will always have the poor with you…” (v. 8).  Jesus was not indicating that it is alright to neglect the poor.  The point He was making was that Mary’s devotion at that particular time and place was worthy of the cost.

II.    The Triumphal Entry (12:12-19)


    A.    Praising the King

  1. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem coincided with the Passover Feast.  As Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds responded to Jesus with shouts of “Hosanna!” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel” (v. 13).  
  2. Hosanna is a Hebrew or Aramaic word that is best translated as a prayer, “save now,” or “save.”  It was an expression of praise.  How the crowd’s attitude would change in a few short days when they would be shouting, “Crucify Him!”

    B.    The Royalty of Jesus

  1. The Gospel of John emphasizes the royalty of Jesus. John’s is the only Gospel that records that the people also shouted, “Blessed is the King of Israel!” (v. 13).  Of course, they expected the Messiah to be a conquering hero, not a Suffering Servant.
  2. The crowd’s exultation, as well as Jesus’ riding a colt, was not seen as the fulfillment of prophecy by the disciples until after His death, burial, and resurrection (v. 16).
  3. This moment was perhaps the high mark of Jesus’ popularity and influence.  In only a matter of days, however, these “Hosannas!” would turn into “Crucify Him!” (19:15).

III.    The Hour Is Come (12:20-36)


    A.    Jesus’ Parable of a Grain of Wheat (vv. 20-26)

  1. The request of some Greeks to interview Jesus brought a lengthy response from Jesus regarding the path before Him.  Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus had avoided situations that would hasten His death.  But now the “hour” had come “for the Son of Man to be glorified” (v. 23).  His death and resurrection was what Jesus had in mind with the term glorified.
  2. At this point Jesus restated what He had said earlier – that death is a condition of life at its fullest.  Jesus often used observations from nature to illustrate spiritual realities (Mark 4:3-12).  Earlier He compared the kingdom of God with a sower scattering seed.  Now He speaks of what happens to the seed that bears fruit.  It must first die.  It must lose its own identity, so that the new plant may spring up.

    B.    Jesus’ Troubled Heart (vv. 27-36)

  1. Jesus understood that His death would bring life to many people (v. 24).  Nevertheless, Jesus’ heart was “troubled.”  Jesus’ troubled heart likely was the result of His bearing the weight of the sin of the world as a sinless being.  This went beyond the physical and emotional agony that awaited Him.  While He contemplated praying to God for deliverance, He remained on the course toward what God had willed for Him.
  2. Jesus’ statement, “If I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (v. 32), was a reference to what Jesus would accomplish on the cross. The cross would achieve salvation for those who believed, bring judgment upon the world for their refusal to believe, and defeat Satan’s rebellion once for all.  The lifting of Jesus on the cross would be the beacon that would draw all people – regardless of sex, race, social status, or nationality – to Himself for deliverance from sin.
  3. Verses 35-36 are the last words of Jesus’ public ministry.  They were a warning to the Jews to embrace salvation while there was still time.

IV.    The Jews’ Refusal to Believe Jesus (12:37-50)


    A.    Signs Are Not Enough

  1. The Jews witnessed so many signs and other miraculous deeds that it is difficult to understand why they refused to believe.  The answer is found in prophecy.  Quoting Isaiah 53:1 and 6:10, John showed that the people were fulfilling what their own Scriptures had predicted (vv. 38-40).
  2. The Jews had the freedom to choose whether to believe in Jesus or not.  However, they had purposely rejected God and chosen evil.  Thus, God turned them over to their own choice.
  3. Earlier in His ministry, Jesus shared the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).  In that story, the rich man who had died and gone to hell wanted Abraham to send Lazarus from the dead to warn his brothers so that they would not also end up in hell.  Abraham responded, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

    B.    A Summary of Jesus’ Teachings (vv. 44-50)

  1. In verses 44-50, Jesus summarized the theme of His teaching.  This is likely a summary statement from John as Jesus closed His public ministry.
  2. There is a difference between the phrase last day (v. 48) and the much-used phrase “last days.”  The latter refers to the current period of time, begun when Christ entered the world (Acts 2:17; Heb. 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20; Jude 18).  The last day (singular), however, refers to the consummation of time and history when the great resurrection and judgment of all persons will occur (1 John 2:18).


REVIEW QUESTIONS


  1. What prompted Mary to anoint Jesus’ feet with oil?  How did He interpret this act?
  2. What does the term hosanna mean?  Why was the crowd shouting this as they greeted Jesus?  What were they expecting from Him?
  3. As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, why was He “troubled”?  What was His attitude toward the Father’s will?
  4. Isaiah predicted that the Jews would reject the Messiah.  Why did the Jews reject Jesus and His teaching?
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